The Knaussletter

Fall, 1993


This is to be a newsletter about Knauss family genealogy. The name Knauss is known to be also spelled Knaus, Knous, and Knouse; it has been in old censuses as Canouse, Kenouce, Knows, Knouss, Knause, and with many other variations.

Most people of the Knauss name in the U. S., whatever the variation, are descended from Ludwig Knauss who came to America with his family in 1723. There are records of others coming into the country, including these from the 1700's:

In most cases, it is not known what happened to most of these people; many of them seemed to utterly disappear. It's not known whether any are related to the Ludwig Knauss family, but since the name is such a relatively rare and unique one, it's likely that many of them are. As we discover information about any of these individuals, we'll pass it on.


Part of my goal in writing this newsletter is to produce a descendancy chart of the Knauss family that is as complete as possible. This will include the whole of Knauss Genealogy: Lukas Knauss of Dudelsheim, Germany and his American Descendants, by Wilbur Lewis King (which includes the information from the earlier work by James Owen Knauss); Knauss Family Genealogy by George G. Knauss; a descendancy chart prepared by Dwight W. Knous; my own personal research, and the products of many other people's research. It is hoped to not only include all people descended from males, but also people descended from the Knauss women. It is anticipated that the chart will include at least 5,000 people now living in the U. S.


How many descendants of Ludwig Knauss, who came to this country in 1723, are there?

Most lines of the family are now at least in the eleventh generation; some are known to be as far as the thirteenth generation. If an average of just three children from each family in each generation had three children of their own, by the eleventh generation there would be almost 60,000 descendants! The real number could be far in excess of that, since many of the earlier family members had very large families, with most or all of the children marrying and having large families. The hardest to trace, of course, are the daughters' families unless there are good marriage records available.

Of course, most of these descendants actually do not have the name Knauss/ Knaus/-

Knouse/Knous, because they are descendants of a Knauss daughter somewhere in the family tree. The two earlier Knauss genealogies gave only a rather summary treatment to daughters' families, because they did not carry the name. Therefore, for a really complete descendancy chart, it will be necessary to trace all these daughters under their married names.


The Knauss/Knouse presence is generally weakest in the southeastern United States (and is strongest in Pennsylvania, with many in Missouri, Washington, Iowa and a few other states), but there has long been a Knouse presence in North Carolina. The first Knouse there was Joseph KNAUSS, son of Sebastian Henrich (Lukas->Ludwig->Sebastian->Joseph), who moved there around 1780. Joseph was born in 1750, and married in 1776, so his family was still quite young and most of his children were born in North Carolina. He died there in 1826; his wife, Magdalena (BOECKEL) KNAUSS lived from 1757 to 1814. They had nine children, at least one of which moved to Ohio. Below is a family group chart of Joseph and Magdalena and their family:

4--Joseph KNAUSS, b. 1-22-1750, Emaus, PA; d. 2-10-1826, Friedberg, NC; m. 4-9-1776, PA
 sp (1)--Magdalena BOECKEL, b. 5-9-1757, Lehigh, PA; d. 1-14-1814, Friedberg, NC
     5--Elizabeth KNAUSS, b.1-22-1777, Emaus, PA; d. 1-10-1814; m. 10-4-1800, Friedberg, NC
      sp--Daniel Thomas ZIMMERMAN
     5--Johannes KNAUS, b. 5-15-1778, Emaus, PA; m. 1802, Friedberg, NC; d. 3-1836, Sharon
Settlement, OH
      sp--Lucy PEDDYCOART (PEDDYCORD), b. 1-10-1783, Hope, NC; d. 6-23-1850, OH
     5--Anna Maria KNAUSS, b. 9-27-1779, Emaus, PA
      sp--John BUTNER
     5--Anna Catharine KNAUSS, b. 8-11-1781, Friedberg, NC; m. 4-3-1804, Friedberg,
Davidson, NC
      sp--Johannes SPACH (or SPAUGH), b. 4-16-1782
     5--Philip KNAUSS, b. 3-4-1783, Friedberg, NC; d. 4-17-1786, Friedberg, NC; NI
     5--Magdalena KNAUSS, b. 8-29-1785; m. 10-15-1810, Friedberg, Stokes, NC
      sp--Joseph ROTHROCK
     5--Anna Johanna KNAUSS, b. 3-28-1787
      sp--John HAUSER (or HOUSER), d. before 1826
     5--George Jacob KNAUSS, b. 5-15-1792, Rowan, NC; m. 9-5-1813, Rowan Co., NC
      sp--Maria MACK or MOCK
     5--Beata KNAUSS, b. & d. 4-6-1796, Friedberg, NC; NI
 sp (2)--Eva Catharine (VOLZ) NOETHING, b. 1-16-1762; d. after 1826

Of these, there is extensive, though not complete, information known on the descendents of Johannes and George Jacob. The families of the daughters have not yet been traced. The descendants of George Jacob are known to still live in North Carolina today, having settled largely in Davidson County and in the Winston-Salem area.


One of Ludwig's sons was Johann Peter KNAUSS, born in 1710, who moved to Philadelphia. No more is known for sure. There was a will recorded in Philadelphia in 1748 of a Peter KNAUSS, who is thought to have been the same person. It names sons William KNAUSS, Peter KNAUSS, Jacob KNAUSS, Joseph KNAUSS, Benjamin KNAUSS, Christian KNAUSS, Henry KNAUSS, and Philip KNAUSS, and daughter Margaret KNAUSS. No further is known of the family, although there always since have been people of that name in Philadelphia who have no known descendancy from any other son of Ludwig. There are believed to be descendants of Johann Peter there today. One marriage record is of a William KNAUS who married a Lydia MILLER on 6-16-1767 in New Hanover, PA. This may be William, son of Johann Peter. A Benjamin KNOUSE was born 12-20-1805, Philadelphia, PA; died 7-7-1879, Belmont, WI, and was married 1837? to Martha FLETCHER. His father may have been another Ben. An extensive descendancy is known for this couple, but Ben's ancestry has not yet been linked back.

There are also: Philippina KNAUSS, who married in 1797 in Philadelphia, Henrich KNAUSS who married in 1781 in Falkner Swamp (he could be the same Henry as above; if so, he married late), and Mary KNAUSS who married in 1796 in Philadelphia.

Researching the Philadelphia KNAUSS lines would be a good project for someone who has good access to Philadelphia area records. It would be nice to be able to link this section of the family in with the rest; Johann Peter is the only son of Ludwig whose descendancy is not extensively known (not counting the last child of Ludwig born in 1741; I do not know if it was a boy or a girl).


If you know someone who might be interested in genealogy of the Knauss/Knouse family, please let me know and I'll send them a newsletter. This newsletter will be sent to several of the larger genealogical libraries, as well.